Tamil Alphabets

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Tamil alphabets consists of 12 vowels and 18 consonants.

Vowels

Apart from 12 vowels we have an additional character ஃ (ak).This character is not a vowel but we use for the sake of our convenience and so we use them among vowels. Vowels are further classified into Short Vowels ( Kuril ) and Long Vowels ( Nedil ).

aShort Vowel
aaLong Vowel
iShort Vowel
iiLong Vowel
uShort Vowel
uuLong Vowel
eShort Vowel
eeLong Vowel
aiLong Vowel
oShort Vowel
ooLong Vowel
auLong Vowel
akSpecial Character

Consonents

There are 18 pure consonants in Tamil.

Tamil ConsonantsPronounciationExample
க்kkite
ங்ngmango
ச்chbatch
ஞ்engmessenger
ட்itcat
ண்innsandal
த்thstrength
ந்inthNot found in English,but as in Tamil ‘Panthu’
ப்ipflap
ம்imtime
ய்iyyolk
ர்irroll
ல்llbell
வ்ivvan
ழ்izhNot found in English,but as in Tamil ‘Vazhga’
ள்ilpull
ற்iRpartner
ன்insin

These 18 consonants are of three kinds. Every letters in pure consonants has a dot on top of it.If the dot is removed it is pronounced with ‘a’ sound

வல்லினம் – Vallinam / Hard

ka
sa
da
tha
pa
Ra

இடையினம் – Idaiyinam / Middle

ya
ra
lla
va
zha
la

மெல்லினம் – Mellinam / Soft

nga
nya
Na
nna
ma
na
  • A word will never begin with the letters like ங , ண , ழ , ள , ற and ன.
  • ஸ்ரீ is a Symbolic character.
  • There is no equivalent for consonant ழ in any other non Dravidian Languages.

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